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On the Cover

January-February 2015
Volume 103, Number 1

Visualizing the upcoming passage of the New Horizons spacecraft past Pluto and its large satellite Charon necessarily involved a lot of educated guesswork. Pluto is so small (about 2,360 kilometers in diameter) and so distant (currently 4.9 billion kilometers away) that it is impossible to image directly from Earth...


FEATURE ARTICLES

Arsenic, the 'King of Poisons,' in Food and Water *

Andrew Yosim, Kathryn Bailey, Rebecca C. Fry

Levels in common foods can exceed US standards for drinking water.


Journey to the Solar System's Third Zone *

S. Alan Stern

When New Horizons reaches Pluto in July, it will close one era of space exploration and open an exciting new one.


The Acoustic World of Harbor Porpoises

Magnus Wahlberg, Meike Linnenschmidt, Peter Madsen, Danuta Wisniewska, Lee Miller

New research gives a clearer picture of how this specialized mammal perceives its underwater environment.


When the Cause of Stroke Is Cryptic *

David Kent, David Thaler

Identifying the reason for a stroke can help doctors avert future ones; if the cause remains unknown, mathematics may point toward a probabilistic answer.


Like Holding a Piece of Sky

Mark Miodownik

Light, airy aerogels are complex, strong, and exceptionally insulating.


* access restricted to members and subscribers


SCIENTISTS’ NIGHTSTAND

The World's Survivors

Katie L. Burke

A brief review of The Oldest Living Things in the World, by Rachel Sussman

See all book reviews for this issue


DEPARTMENTS

FROM THE EDITORS

Time Brings Change

Jamie L. Vernon

COMPUTING SCIENCE

Cultures of Code

Three communities in the world of computation are bound together by common interests but set apart by distinctly different aims and agendas.

Brian Hayes 

ENGINEERING

Can an Engineer Appreciate Art?*

Physical rigor may seem at odds with playful whimsy, but the tension between the two has produced some of the greatest public works.

Henry Petroski

PERSPECTIVE

The Many Guises of Aromaticity

Is hype debasing a core chemical concept? 

Roald Hoffmann

ETHICS

What Everyone Should Know About Statistical Correlation

A common analytical error hinders biomedical research and misleads the public.

Vladica M. Velickovic

TECHNOLOGUE

Each Blade a Single Crystal

Clever casting techniques produce jet engines that can withstand 2,000-degree temperatures, allowing unprecedented efficiency.

Lee S. Langston

2015-01TechnologueF3.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SIGHTINGS

Fly-by Forestry Takes Off

Remote laser imaging can measure the health and density of forests, allowing scientists to observe large swaths of vital ecosystems all at once.

Catherine Clabby

2015-01SightingsF1.jpgClick to Enlarge Image

SPOTLIGHT

New Disease Emerges as Threat to Salamanders

The invasive chytrid fungus is spreading in Europe; new policy could prevent its introduction in the United States.

Katie L. Burke

A Fundamental Unit of Space

An interview with physicist Aaron Chou about the three-dimensional reality we perceive might be an illusion.

Fenella Saunders

Briefings

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Megafauna Extinction

Living Fossil Statistics

Take the Heat Off

Rembrandt's Grasp


SIGMA XI TODAY (PDF)


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